Lugo, Juan de
LUGO, JUAN DE
Jesuit theologian and cardinal of the seventeenth century, especially esteemed as a moralist; b. Madrid, Nov. 25, 1583; d. Rome, Aug. 20, 1660. Juan de Lugo, born of noble parents, seems to have been destined for an ecclesiastical career from his earliest years. Before he was ten years old, he had received the tonsure and he had obtained a benefice from philip ii of Spain by the time he was 14. Juan received his early education in Seville, where he obtained a bachelor of arts degree in 1598. Then his parents sent him with his older brother Francisco to Salamanca to study civil and canon law. While in Salamanca, Francisco entered the Society of Jesus. In 1603, Juan also became a jesuit, against the wishes of his father. After his ordination, he taught philosophy and theology in various Jesuit houses of study.
In 1616 De Lugo received his master's degree and was assigned to teach theology at Valladolid. His fame as a theologian spread quickly within the society, and in 1621 or 1622 the general summoned him to Rome. There he taught theology for the next 20 years.
Although urged by his friends to publish his theological treatises, De Lugo refused until 1631, when he was commanded by his superiors to do so. Within 15 years he prepared five major works for publication: De incarnatione Domini (Lyons 1633); De sacramentis in genere, de venerabili eucharistiae sacramento, et de sacrasancto Missae sacrificio (Lyons 1636); De virtute et sacramento poenitentiae, de suffragiis et indulgentiis (Lyons 1638), De iustitia et iure (Lyons 1642); De virtute fidei divinae (Lyons 1646). Later his Responsorum moralium libri sex (Lyons 1651) was published by his former pupil and friend, Cardinal Sforza pallavicino. In addition to these works, De Lugo wrote a number of other philosophical and theological treatises during his long teaching career. A group of these was published in Cologne in 1716 under the title De Deo, de angelis, de actibus humanis et de gratia. Other compositions are cited in his published works, such as, De anima, Philosophia, Logica, De Trinitate, De visione Dei, De scientia Dei, De praedestinatione, De bonitate et malitia humanorum actuum; the manuscripts of some of these works are still extant in the libraries of Madrid, Salamanca, Karlsruhe, and Mechlin.
The basis of De Lugo's fame as a theologian and of his influence on the development of theology is to be found in his published works, which show him to have been a theologian of considerable stature and an independent thinker. His approach was nonpolemic. It was not his custom to present an exhaustive review of opinion on a topic, nor did he quote many authorities in support of his own position. In direct fashion he stated the question, discussed the problem, and reasoned his way to a solution. In the process he demonstrated his thorough grounding in scholastic philosophy, dogmatic and moral theology, and civil and canon law.
In his discussions the supernatural is seen as built upon the natural order, and moral obligations as flowing from doctrinal truths. He drew the principles of the political order from the nature of man as a social being, but at the same time he pointed out that social life is a most necessary means for the profession of the Christian faith (De iustitia, 10). The supreme jurisdiction of the pope in the Church and his infallibility in regard to faith and morals were deduced from the nature of the Church as the agency of salvation founded by Christ (De virtute fidei divinae, 1).
A comparison of De Lugo's teaching with the social doctrine of the popes from leo xiii to pius xii shows that there are few points on which the seventeenth-century theologian would have to be corrected because of the subsequent development of Catholic social doctrine. His discussion of the rights of slaves could be used as an exposition of the inalienable rights of man (De iustitia, 3). Again, his consideration of the use of torture in judicial processes makes it evident that theologians at the time of the Inquisition were well aware of the moral problems connected with its use.
De Lugo dedicated his fourth work, the monumental De iustitia et iure, to Urban VIII. The pope was so impressed with the work and its author that he determined to make the theologian a cardinal. Although the Jesuit tried to decline, the pope commanded him to accept the cardinalate in 1643. Thereafter, De Lugo became active in the work of the Holy Office and the Congregation of the Council.
When the Jansenist Antoine Arnauld published his book, De la fréquente communion, a violent theological controversy broke out and there developed a strong trend to condemn the entire Jansenistic movement. In a memorial counseling moderation, De Lugo pointed out that the Jansenists still professed to be Catholics and urged that they be treated with as much kindness as the defense of Catholic principles would allow. In spite of his moderate stand, De Lugo was left out of the committee of cardinals commissioned to evaluate the orthodoxy of Jansenism. Since the Jesuits had been active in opposing the Jansenists, it was felt that he would not be impartial in his judgment.
In the conclave of 1655, King Philip IV of Spain declared Cardinal Sacchetti persona non grata and tried to have him excluded as a papal candidate. In the debate that arose among the cardinals of the conclave, it was probably De Lugo who defended the Spanish king's claim to the right of exclusion.
Bibliography: j. de lugo, Disputationes scholasticae et morales, ed. j. b. fournals, 8 v. (new ed. Paris 1891–94). j. e. nieremberg, Varones ilustres de la compañia de Jesús, cont'd a. de andrade and j. cassini, 9 v. (2d ed. Bilbao 1887–92) v. 5. Pastor. g. brinkman, The Social Thought of John de Lugo (Washington 1957).